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SubjectRe: [RFC] [PATCH] Pre-emption control for userspace
On 03/03/2014 10:07 AM, Khalid Aziz wrote:
> I am working on a feature that has been requested by database folks that
> helps with performance. Some of the oft executed database code uses
> mutexes to lock other threads out of a critical section. They often see
> a situation where a thread grabs the mutex, runs out of its timeslice
> and gets switched out which then causes another thread to run which
> tries to grab the same mutex, spins for a while and finally gives up.
> This can happen with multiple threads until original lock owner gets the
> CPU again and can complete executing its critical section. This queueing
> and subsequent CPU cycle wastage can be avoided if the locking thread
> could request to be granted an additional timeslice if its current
> timeslice runs out before it gives up the lock. Other operating systems
> have implemented this functionality and is used by databases as well as
> JVM. This functionality has been shown to improve performance by 3%-5%.
> I have implemented similar functionality for Linux. This patch adds a
> file /proc/<tgid>/task/<tid>/sched_preempt_delay for each thread.
> Writing 1 to this file causes CFS scheduler to grant additional time
> slice if the currently running process comes up for pre-emption. Writing
> to this file needs to be very quick operation, so I have implemented
> code to allow mmap'ing /proc/<tgid>/task/<tid>/sched_preempt_delay. This
> allows a userspace task to write this flag very quickly. Usage model is
> a thread mmaps this file during initialization. It then writes a 1 to
> the mmap'd file after it grabs the lock in its critical section where it
> wants immunity from pre-emption. It then writes 0 again to this file
> after it releases the lock and calls sched_yield() to give up the
> processor. I have also added a new field in scheduler statistics -
> nr_preempt_delayed, that counts the number of times a thread has been
> granted amnesty. Further details on using this functionality are in
> Documentation/scheduler/sched-preempt-delay.txt in the patch. This
> patch is based upon the work Venkatesh Pallipadi had done couple of
> years ago.

Shades of the Android wakelocks, no?

This seems to effectively give userspace an option to turn preemptive
multitasking into cooperative multitasking, which of course is
unacceptable for a privileged process (the same reason why unprivileged
processes aren't allowed to run at above-normal priority, including RT

I have several issues with this interface:

1. First, a process needs to know if it *should* have been preempted
before it calls sched_yield(). So there needs to be a second flag set
by the scheduler when granting amnesty.

2. A process which fails to call sched_yield() after being granted
amnesty must be penalized.

3. I'm not keen on occupying a full page for this. I'm wondering if
doing a pointer into user space, futex-style, might make more sense.
The downside, of course, is what happens if the page being pointed to is
swapped out.

Keep in mind this HAS to be per thread.


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